WINNERS of business excellence awards were feted at a cocktail presentation night on Friday.
Eight businesses and individuals won Naracoorte Lucindale Business and Tourism Association awards, while more than 60 were nominated in various categories.
About 100 people attended the cocktail evening held at Settlers Cafe for the first time and co-organiser Judy Johnson said the evening went "very well".
The association changed venues to make the night more affordable for a wider range of people and encourage businesses to bring their staff.
She said the informal atmosphere provided a good chance for nominees to mingle with the winners and celebrate with each other.
Settlers Cafe provided good space and a comfortable atmosphere where the formalities could be done in one part of the venue and mingling could be spread throughout the cafe.
The event was previously held at Naracoorte Town Hall and involved a formal three course meal.
Mrs Johnson said she was happy with the changes they made and it would be an idea they'd consider doing again.
She said nominated businesses should be proud of their efforts and celebrate their "fantastic achievement".
"They need to take it as a huge pat on the back that the community is recognising that they're doing something well," she said.
The new environment and semi-formal dress code created a lot more excitement between nominated businesses.
"They were so excited," she said. "A couple of them were just absolutely over the moon."
Henry Mould, Rob Hansen and Brenda Gibbs also helped organise the event.
Mrs Johnson said the new style of judging was positive as well.
The business excellence award was judged by "mystery shoppers" and business owners were interviewed on their business management.
"It gained a really good understanding and gave a positive feel out there," she said.
"It was just a really positive night and there has been a lot of really positive feedback."